Chapter Three: Psychological Roulette

Fangs and Ariana followed the lady and her two bodyguards out of the strange brightly lit room into a new lounge area. No sooner had they stepped out of the previous room did two wall mirrors slide into place sealing of the path from which they came. The new room that they had entered was normal, in fact it seemed extra normal. The room was designed to be a four walled open space lounge with comfortable cobblestone microfiber sofas on either corner of the room.  In the middle of the room was an expensive Mahogany coffee table that stood just in front of the sofas. It was covered by an equally expensive table cloth. There was one more sofa that was a single seater, the only one in the room and it was positioned on the other end of the coffee table. On the left side of the room, the wall was lined by a book shelf that housed three rows of books with a Credenza writing desk next to it that had three drawers and shelves that both journals and vase. It also had a ergonomic office chair neatly tucked into the desk itself. On the desk itself was neatly kept stationery, a hand bag, a sleek compact notebook and a single lamp. Directly across that wall on the opposite side of the room was a mini tea station built into the wall. The ledge itself had cases of sugar, teabags coffee, cappuccino sachets, biscuits, a kettle and other assorted beverage items. Below the ledge was a mini fridge that probably held refrigerated liquids like milk and juice. Next to the mini fridge was a cupboard that probably held the cups and cutlery. The room itself had no windows so there was still no visible sign of the outside world. Instead the walls that were painted a light cream and lined with small portrait paintings of waterfalls and nature. The room was designed to create a feeling of a soothing atmosphere. The two men turned to the lady in the lab coat as if to find out how to proceed. She pursed her lips together, turned her neck slightly in the direction of her prisoners and thought for a moment. After thinking it over for about a minute, she turned back to the two men. “It should be fine, I doubt they’d try anything, but you two can wait outside, just in case.” They nodded silently in agreement, gave their prisoners a final curious glance and left through the only visible door. The lady turned around to face to Fangs and Ariana, walked towards the mini tea station. “Would you like something to drink ?” she offered whilst making a strong brew of coffee.  “No, we don’t want anything from a bad lady like you” Ariana responded in a fiery tone. The lady sighed and looked at Fangs indicating that her offer was still valid. “We’ll have a glass of water and…” , Fangs looked down at Ariana and back at the lady, “and an orange juice please?”.  The lady placed their beverages on a tray alongside her own, carried them expertly to the table and placed them on coasters. “Please do sit and enjoy your refreshments” she instructed. It was a command, not a question and Fangs was aware of that. For now he would play along with whatever she said, just until he had enough information to make sense of things. Fangs took a seat on the sofa and he had to admit, it was really comfortable. Ariana on the other hand was having none of it, and remained standing in between both sofas with her arms folded refusing to listen. “Yo Ariana, why don’t you just take a seat, you don’t have to drink the juice if you don’t want to” Fangs pleaded failing to hide the desperation in his voice. “Hmpph” Ariana pouted in response as if failing to recognize the danger of their situation. “Wow, she’s definitely going to grow up to be one of those girls who’ll give those douche bag guys attitude and then expect her innocent boyfriend who probably had nothing to do with the argument and who’d want to just calmly walk away from the situation, deal with those guys instead…who’ll probably be much bigger than her boyfriend” Fangs thought sarcastically. “Ariana, please” Fangs said sighing in an exasperated voice. Ariana turned her nose in the air, jumped onto the sofa and grabbed Fangs’ arm hugging it tightly, all the while directing a fiery look towards the lady. Fangs closed his eyes and let out a sigh of relief, they had avoided trouble, even if it just was for a moment. “So you’re probably wondering why you’re here?” the lady asked, casually inhaling some of the coffee aroma. When no one answered, the lady carried on as if her previous question had not been met with an awkward silence, “We’ll get to that, but first let me introduce myself my name is Shiela, and I’m a psychiatrist, it’s a pleasure to meet you”, she said with a curt smile. “So, how are you feeling ? Are you drowsy, weak maybe, even hungry perhaps ?”, she asked focusing her questions on Fangs mainly ignoring Ariana. “I’m fine I guess for someone with no memory”, Fans replied dryly. It was no use hiding the fact that he couldn’t remember anything, Fangs was certain that she was more than aware of this detail. “Is that so, well it’s good to know” Shiela replied with another brief smile. Shiela was definitely a brilliant psychiatrist, Fangs would acknowledge that much at least. She spoke in a calm clear gentle voice that was neither excited nor monotone. She looked you directly in the eye when she talked and her expression was that of someone whose interest was visible on their face. She responded and acknowledged a person every time they talked, which would give the person a certain sense of validation. All of these qualities combined, forced whoever Shiela was talking to, to be drawn into the conversation in a very subtle yet effective manner. “This lady is dangerous in her own way” Fangs thought. Shiela placed her coffee down for a moment, and went to her Credenza writing desk, picked up her digital notebook, returned to her seat, flipped it open and said nothing for a while. For a while nobody said anything, so Fangs used that as an opportunity to study the room instead. The only other thing framed on the walls were her academic qualifications. Fangs couldn’t see the university name that she’d graduated due to the text and glare of light but he was able to make out that she had a PhD. The glare on the framed certificate brought it to his attention that even though there were no windows present in the room, natural light was seeping into the room somehow. He turned to view the way that they had come which was more or less behind the sofas but all that he saw was a large mirror that basically made up the wall. Fangs turned back to face Shiela who was busy typing away in her laptop as if she had forgotten about their presence. “She’s using silence as a tool, to force me to open up in a willing way” Fangs thought. Shiela looked up from her notebook before Fangs had a chance to look away and asked, “Something on your mind ?” in an innocent manner.  Fangs knew he had fell into her trap but tried to play it off by saying, “Nothing much really, it’s all blank in here”.  “Really, but I noticed you were staring quite intently at my qualifications, did you find them interesting? ”, Shiela asked with a smile that was somehow polite but simultaneously said not to bullshit her. “It’s just, you’re quite young, probably around 25 or 26, yet you already have a PhD, that’s quite impressive” Fangs said deciding it was better to not lie, for now at least. “Oh?, So are you profiling me ?”, Shiela said in a delighted amused voice. “Uhh no, I don’t know” replied Fangs weakly. Her delighted tone had offset him a little. “Well than, please tell me what else you think you know about me” Shiela asked. Her voice was still calm and gentle, yet there was a slight difference to her tone, as if she was challenging him, a small hint of mischievousness dancing in her eyes. Fangs closed his eyes again, sighed and opened his eyes again looking her directly in the eye as if to accept her challenge. “Well, you’re definitely brilliant, you’re already a PhD at the age of 25, means you’ve finished your studies slightly ahead of time” Fangs said slowly tilting his head a little as he spoke. Fangs let his eyes travel around the room before continuing, “Your office or counselling room, whatever it is, is designed to look like that of a normal therapist. Warm colours that are not overly bright and excessive, the furniture is comfortable, the room itself is small enough to feel cosy and make a person feel safe yet still maintains a sense of spaciousness. You have mirrors in here for both literal and figurative introspection and despite not having any windows, you have enough natural light in here as if to keep a consistent atmosphere despite the actual weather or time ”. Fangs paused  briefly to think and went on. “Yet this is kind of an illusion. There’s almost no sense of your own personal touch that you’ve applied to this room, which is something most therapists do intentionally in order to make the room seem more human and for patients to gain a sense of the kind of person that their therapist is. Yet this room is devoid of any trace of you, if I walked into this room for the first time, I’d only be able to tell that you’re a psychiatrist, nothing more nothing less”. Fangs was definitely satisfied with what he had guessed although he tried to hide his sense of triumph. Ariana was definitely in amazement, her eyes and mouth both wide open simply being able to just blink. “Don’t be so amazed, she didn’t confirm if I’m right” Fangs said to Ariana. “Is that it, is that all you can tell?” Shiela asked in a voice dripping with disappointment staring at Fangs the way a teacher looks at a student when they expect more and the student fails to deliver. Fangs with his mouth closed, grit his teeth together on the right  side of his mouth. “Oh yeah, well I’ll show her” Fangs thought. “Well, there’s more” Fangs said in a soft yet strained firm voice. “Do tell” Shiela replied in an almost mocking tone. Fangs sat up straight and stretched his chest a little to undo some knots. He looked Shiela directly in the eye with an expression of fierceness and determination. “You’re either recently married or divorced, judging from the ring of pale skin around your ring finger. I’d say married since you don’t have feel of sorrow or loss that divorced women usually do, meaning you probably take your ring of at work. You have a young child, a daughter I would say, based on that single unicorn key ring attached to your door keys on your desk” Fangs said in a determined voice. “Well done!” Shiela exclaimed as if he had met her expectations. But Fangs wasn’t done and against his better will said, “I can do better”. Shiela was a tiny bit nervous now but didn’t let it show, and instead asked him to go ahead but without previous mocking tone. “You were the type who didn’t realize she was pretty even though she was. Your first boy friend was simply to experience what a relationship was. After the first boyfriend you started noticing how much of attention boys were paying you and you came to realize how attractive you really were. Your second boyfriend was a bad boy slightly older than you, and you secretly craved to experience that thrill. And you certainly did, he was more experienced, more mature and knew what you wanted compared guys your age. But it was a roller coaster, there were usually a low after the high and you knew deep down it was just a temporary thing. After him you dated your third boyfriend, I’m assuming he was an average looking Joe with a good heart. He’s probably an accountant or something like that right? Also, I’m sure you get approached a lot by guys who think they’re much better than your husband, how do you respond to that ? Because you certainly don’t seem like the type to cheat ?” Fangs finished of slightly out of breath. Shiela without missing a beat lifted up her middle finger and replied immediately, “I respond to those cocky pieces of dirt like this saying I’m married and deliberately lift my middle finger up, and then put it down and lift up my ring finger to emphasise that I’m married” she said visually demonstrating for him. “Also I’m actually 26 and my husband is a teacher, but everything else was spot on” Shiela said pleased as if she expected this. “You knew I would guess correctly?” Fangs said surprised. Shiela didn’t answer the question directly, instead she replied with a question. “Did you know you have two ways of responding to questions of a serious nature?”, Shiela asked in a quiet voice. Fangs said nothing, choosing to swallow nervously in response to the drop in volume of her voice. “When you answer a question in a half assed way, you give the most basic answer, but before you do that, you always let out a sigh of irritation. But the second way is when you answer a serious question fully, when you answer it so well it feels like you’re attacking the question itself, just like you did to my question, because you’re awfully observant when you choose to be. In that case, you straighten up and your focus becomes intense”, Shiela said in a firm quiet voice. There was an awkward silence that followed that Fangs was certain that Shiela had not planned for. Ariana broke the silence. “Why don’t you tell Fangs the bad things you do here”, Ariana said in a high pitched voice almost on the verge of tears. Fangs caught off guard by this sudden change in her emotional state, turned to her immediately, hugged her and said, “Everything’s all right”. Then the door flung open, and everything was not.

 

So it took me about 4 hours to write this chapter and damn it was long, so if you read it and love it please do share it. Thank you for all the love and support. So from Lord Sri Krishna and Aavi, see ya !

Ciau.

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